Fires and burn scars in southwestern United States

Fires and burn scars in southwestern United States
  • Credit:

    Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aqua satellite detected several large fires burning across the southwestern United States on June 30, 2005. The largest is the Cave Creek Fire on the lower right side of the image. Located northeast of Phoenix, Arizona, the fire has been spreading quickly from its point of origin (by lightning) in the Tonto National Forest to the north and west. Small towns, endangered species habitat, and high-voltage powerlines are all threatened. Active fire locations are outlined in red. In this false color image, vegetation is bright green, naturally bare or thinly vegetated soil is tan or pink, and burned areas are deep reddish-brown. Within the red fire-perimeter outlines, bright pink spots show where openly flaming portions of the fire are emitting infrared energy.

To the northwest, the Southern Nevada Complex Fire has scorched more than 500,000 acres in the area between the White and Virgin Rivers. The fires in the complex were started by lightning and are burning in juniper-pinyon woodlands and grass. This image of southern Nevada (left), Utah (upper right), and Arizona (lower right), shows the huge area involved in the Southern Nevada Fire as well as numerous smaller fires burning on June 30, 2005.

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  • Data Date:

    June 30, 2005
  • Visualization Date:

    July 1, 2005
  • Sensor(s):

    Aqua - MODIS
NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration